Anonymous Friend – Case Study Chapter 7

This week I am writing about the Case Study at the end of Chapter 7. In this case study, a mobile app called Anonymous Friend is created for Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). The app is designed to help teenagers – who would already be on their phone – to communicate with a chatbot about their potential abuse.

The study showed that three months of research and 34 hours of testimonials from AA members were turned into data. This data was then converted into a chatbot that could respond to people in a more personal way. According to the study, in the first week more than 100,000 people talked with the bot, with 60% of them being teenagers.

A.A. is able to solve a teenage problem in Brazil by using an app. These teenagers, or really anyone who suffers from alcohol abuse, might otherwise not reach out knowing that there is a person on the other end that may judge them. Having a bot that responds with other A.A. members answers is extremely useful. It gives the potential A.A. member a sense of security and understanding – all while providing the help they need.

The data for this needed to be extensive to build the chatbot. There are so many different reasons that a person may feel the need to abuse alcohol, and if the chatbot wasn’t able to identify and provide support for this large variety, there would be a lot of people who would feel left out of the program. I do believe, however, there might be downsides to this.

A person who is looking for help and only has access to the bot may feel like they are just getting an automated response that really doesn’t relate to them. In this case, a personal experience would benefit the potential abuser a lot more than a chatbot. I think when it comes to something as powerful as addiction, there needs to be a more personalized experience. Nevertheless, the numbers from the case study show an increase in daily requests for help.

Within the first week, more than 100,000 people, 60% of them teenagers, had chatted with Anonymous Friend, and daily requests for help to AA’s email increased by 1300%.

AA email increased by 1300% and as new members joined, more media attention was drawn.

Chatbots have the potential to be a huge help when it comes to mobile marketing. In this case, the chatbot was used to market A.A. and help teenagers – as well as others- in Brazil.

Anonymous Friend – Case Study Chapter 7

One thought on “Anonymous Friend – Case Study Chapter 7

  1. muhkenzee13 says:

    Holy cow, this is huge and such a win for people struggling with addiction. It is hard for people to talk about their addiction because the people surrounding them may not understand. Sometimes people don’t say the right thing. I never would have thought to use chatbots for this kind of thing. I think it could be useful for people struggling with suicide. Especially, with the younger generation. I am very curious to see how this will evolve and might start following it.


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